Suspect charged with murder of transgender woman in North Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Police have arrested a man who allegedly shot and killed a transgender woman in North Philadelphia.

Twenty-eight-year-old Troy Bailey of the 1100 block of West Venango Street is charged with murder and related crimes in the death of 40-year-old Michelle Washington, who also went by the name "Tamika."

It was Sunday morning when police got a 911 call for a person with a gun in the 3400 block of North 11th Street in North Philadelphia.

"Upon arrival, officers observed a female lying on her side suffering from multiple gunshot wounds," said Captain Jason Smith of the Philadelphia Police Homicide Unit.

Washington had been shot in the head and torso and was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police said Bailey came to police headquarters voluntarily Monday morning, but his story started to unravel and he was placed under arrest.

Smith said, "Initially, Mr. Bailey claimed that he was an eyewitness to the murder. So he came down to the homicide unit of his own accord and then the investigation began to lean toward Mr. Bailey as being a suspect."

Police believe the two knew each other before the murder as they were captured by cameras in the area walking together just before it happened.

Police said Bailey told them Washington wanted to buy a gun from him and the two had an argument about it, however, investigators aren't sure that's the true motive.

They do not believe her murder had anything to do with her gender identity.

Washington was well-known as an advocate for the transgender community. Amber Hikes, Executive Director of Philadelphia's Office of LGBT affairs said in a statement, "While her bright light and presence in the LGBTQ community cannot be replaced, we find comfort in knowing that we are one step closer to justice for Tamika."

Police tell Action News the suspect, Troy Bailey, has an extensive police record primarily consisting of domestic-related assaults and sexual offenses.

Police did find what they believe to be the murder weapon at his girlfriend's home.

"I am devastated by the senseless murder of yet another one of our trans sisters. Tamika was a brilliant and outgoing member of Philadelphia's transgender community, known for her advocacy and mentorship, and she will be profoundly missed," said Amber Hikes, Executive Director of Philadelphia's Office of LGBT Affairs.

"The epidemic of violence that continues to plague the transgender community-disproportionately impacting trans women of color- is heartbreaking, frightening, and infuriating. The Office of LGBT Affairs will continue combating hate and providing support for the LGBTQ community in Tamika's memory. We extend our deepest sympathies to Tamika's loved ones and all members of our LGBTQ community who have been and will forever be impacted by this tragedy. Our Office is here to connect anyone who may be in need of resources and support following this horrific incident. Finally, we encourage anyone who may have information about the incident to contact the Philadelphia Department as we work together to seek justice for Tamika."

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Woman fatally shot in head in North Philadelphia: as seen on Action News at 9 a.m., May 19, 2019

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